SNIPPETS OF THE VERDICT : CHAPTER 1


CHAPTER 1

  • The dusk as we begin


  • A continuation from the prologue of a yet to be published book[THE VERDICT] by yours truly)

Kiprop was at the lobby of his hotel in Eldoret. His massive Toyota vx was packed outside. A gift he had awarded himself soon after chasing away the intruders. With intruders he meant people who had settled on their ancestral land leaving him and his kinsmen a small space yet it was where his forefathers had resided. He looked at the fuel guzzler a wry smile appearing on his mouth. He had never been so happy and contended.
He sat down and ordered a pilsner, a beer meant for lions like him and he had a feeling that he really deserved it. Pictures of the skirmishes flashed through his mind. He felt sorry for losing some few Lorries here and there but wasn’t it part of the plan? His drink arrived and he pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind to concentrate on it. The plasma TV which he had acquired purposely for screening English premiership games caught his attention. A youngish looking woman was presenting the news. He always wondered where the presenters disappeared to after spending some years on the TV because he had never seen an old one. And why did they also insist on having young women and men? But that was not what was running in his mind right now. The lady had just said the government had commenced prosecuting the post election violence perpetrators. Was he one of them? He was just trying to defend his homeland. He consoled himself. The lady went on on how witnesses were coming up and identifying the big shots responsible for funding the youths who lit anything on their way. He had provided the machetes used to hack foreigners heads from his own hardware store but nobody knew except his close confidants. They could never betray him. He had given them enough money to buy their silence. They also knew the consequences of letting out top secrets. He was an avid reader and ‘Godfather’ by Mario Puzo had given him enough skills to deal with enemies and traitors. He had also closely followed the life of one of his heroes-Saddam Hussein. Great pity that Americans saw it fit to hang him. After his death he had watched the series ‘House of Saddam’ till it was playing on his head.
He never wished to apply the skills he learned there on anyone. But if the situation ever arose, he would be glad to do it. The lady was still broadcasting. ‘‘Further investigations have revealed that respected business men from different towns in the country were also responsible for the may hem. By the use of their monetary influence, they funded the youth and provided safe havens for the one’s running away from police’’ Kiprop wiped his brow in disbelief. It was like they were talking about him and reading his mind at the same time. Cold sweat dripped from his armpits and ran on his arm till he could see it at the helm of his short sleeved shirt.
He was a respected man in the society; they could never come for him. He was responsible for so many developments in the community. He had also funded the area M.P during the campaigns of disputed elections which he won anyway. He could defend him. He cursed himself for thinking of arrests. They would never do it.
‘’Sir! Sir! You have knocked off your drink’’ the waiter jostled him from his deep thoughts. He had not realized it. He had also spilled some on his groin without realizing it. He felt ashamed of himself. Instead of ordering another drink he barked at the waiter some unmentionables and threatened to fire him.
 The waiter backed off. He had never seen mzee this angry. There must be something wrong. Of late there was a rumor that some big shots in the town including mzee were responsible for the killings done in 2007/2008. May be that was what was affecting him. He secretly wished he was one of them. He relished the thoughts of mzee in handcuffs and thought he deserved it. Since he was employed at Mecca Hotel, he had never known peace at workplace. Especially when mzee was in the vicinity. He would shout and abuse the workers just to vent off his anger. He would be extremely happy if mzee happened to be on the dreaded list.
Kiprop fell asleep drinking what was left in the bottle. He was pretty much economical and the spilled drink served to increase his woes. A disturbing dream occurred in his sleep, it was more of a nightmare than a dream. A church was blazing about 100 meters from him and he was standing in the midst of skulls and other human bones. Wails were coming out of the church calling out his name. He let out a guffaw between the wails and he moved to another place. Here a wheat farm was burning and on close observation he realized it was his own wheat farm. Goddamn it! Who had decided to burn his healthy crop which was also a major source of his wealth? Who would be this daring? Then within a flash he was driving on his Toyota vx in a road he did not recognize. He saw something placed on the road from far and on getting there he realized they were boulders which made the road impassable. He alighted from his car and at that instant roughly dressed and looking youths emerged from the bushes. They had machetes on their hands and some were stained with blood. He noticed that the blood was fresh and his knees turned wobbly. He offered to give them money but they insisted on looking at his identity card. What would gangsters need to do with his ID and he had all the money they could ever need. He produced it and in no time his right arm was separated from his body.
Kiprop woke up just when his head was about to be slashed off. He was sweating profusely and his pants were really wet. Not for the beer that he had spilled on them but for the first time since his mother had stopped suckling him, he had wet himself. The dream was clear in his mind and he wished he could forget it. It was impossible to do it because since he was a young man he never forgot his dreams no matter how horrid they were. Kiprop got up in a huff wanting to drive home and grab some sleep to ease his thoughts.
                                      *****************
 It all happened so fast. He was just opening the door of his car when he was tapped on his shoulder. He turned around to meet three men in dark suits flashing police ID’s. He was speechless and cuffs were slid on his hands without much of a struggle. A crowd was forming around watching ominously as the events unfolded. They were talking but he could not decipher a word of what they were saying. He seemed to be watching what was happening to self from a distance. It was like he had moved from his body and become a spectator in the crowd. They dragged the man because his legs had lost energy and any grip they had on the ground. They bundled him on the backseat of a grey Peugeot and two officers sat on either side. The third officer sat on the driver’s seat, kicked off the ignition and off they went. He thought he saw a cameraman before the departure.
                             **************************************
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